NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Sema4 and Mount Sinai Health System have launched a five-year study in collaboration with Sanofi to study asthma. The project will follow 1,200 individuals and collect clinical, genomic, immunological, environmental, and sensor data to analyze and model the disease.
Asthma affects more than 350 million people worldwide and causes 400,000 deaths worldwide annually. In addition, there is evidence that the prevalence of asthma is increasing.
"Despite advances in recent years, we still see many patients struggling with asthma, so there is still a tremendous need for innovation to reduce the burden of this disease," Linda Rogers, associate professor and clinical director of the adult asthma program at the Mount Sinai National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute, said in a statement.
"Asthma is an incredibly complex condition associated with genetics, environmental factors, activity levels, the immune system and more," Eric Schadt, Sema4 CEO, said.
Researchers will generate molecular profile samples and collect digital monitoring data from individuals' mobile devices to try to understand disease function and what triggers asthma attacks. In addition, they will look for biomarkers related to therapy response and to determine why the disease affects people differently in order to identify new therapeutic targets and improve patient management.
"Our goal is to develop a holistic view of each patient in the study, which is why we're excited to add digital technology to the traditional types of medical examinations conducted in this study," Frank Nestle, Sanofi's head of immunology and inflammation research and chief scientific officer in North America, said in a statement. "It's a new way to approach this enormous problem, connecting real world clinical and scientific data, that we hope will translate into new ways to treat asthma."